Though it may sound complicated, cloning a marijuana plant is a straightforward process. If you don’t want to buy new female marijuana seeds, the best alternative will be to clone a mature cannabis plant. You just need to know the steps to begin.
Cloning means creating a copy of the cannabis plant by cutting off a piece from the mature plant. This cutting will grow roots and grow into a nearly identical plant as her mother.
Cloning – The Best Alternative to Buying Female Marijuana Seeds
Cloning is a quick, fast, and affordable way of making a new cannabis plant. Female marijuana seeds are so expensive. If you have no plans for growing new cannabis strains, why not try cloning your mature plants?
The best thing about cloning weed is that the clone would have the genetics of her parent. Meaning, it will simply have the characteristics and quality of the parent plant. According to The University of Maine, clones can be propagated only in the asexual way. If the cutting comes from a female plant, you are 100% sure that the new plant will also be female. Thus, you must start growing cannabis by using female seeds if you plan to use cuttings for the second batch.
What’s the Best Way of Getting Clones from a Marijuana Plant?
Cloning marijuana involves cutting a tiny piece of the plant and letting it grow new roots. However, if you do a research about cloning cannabis, you will find various opinions about the best way of going about this. While other cloning methods may differ, some rules will apply to every method. In getting started with cloning, the most important thing is choosing the healthiest parent plant.
What You Need in Cloning a Cannabis Plant?
- A healthy and happy parent plant where you will get the clone from
- A razor, scalpel, or sharp scissors
- Starter cubes (rapid rooters and rockwool cubes)
- Cloning powder or gel
- “Mild” light for the clones. A CFL light with low wattage is perfect.
- Alcohol for sterilizing the tools
- Optional – mini greenhouse, heating mat, and humidity dome
Steps in Taking the Clone from a Cannabis Plant
#1. Assess the Plant
First, you must assess the plant and find out if it’s ready for the cloning process. One indication is when the branches begin alternating while they grow. Look for the branches which aren’t growing from a similar spot on the stalk like the case with a younger plant.
#2. Disinfect the Tools
When you have a plant ready for cloning, you must clean and sterilize the tools. Keep in mind that a freshly cut clone is highly sensitive to microorganisms, bacteria, and dirt. Make sure the tools and the work area are clean before you start as they can make or break the process.
#3. Follow the Instructions Carefully
Read the given directions for the starter cubes or rapid rooters. Plunge the starter cubes in the water for some minutes before using them. Rockwool cubes often have a high pH level. It is why soaking them in the water is very necessary. By doing so, the pH level will drop down to 4 to 4.5pH.
#4. Take the Cutting
The most ideal location for taking a cutting from the mature plant is the spot where the new branches may emerge. You should cut a small part underneath the new growth in a 45-degree angle. Every cutting must be 10 to 20 centimeters long.
Where the cutting comes from is very important. You can take a cut from any part of the plant but getting it near the new growth within the lower half of the plant is more likely to grow roots quicker than the cutting from the top.
Soak the cutting in the glass of water right away. It will help in preventing the air bubbles from reaching the stem. When there are large leaves on the base of the cutting, cut it as well. Never use a clone with too many big leaves as it leads to wasting the energy on photosynthesis.
#5. Use Rooting Helpers
Some cannabis growers are able to grow clones by just using water. However, growing them with cloning products like rooting helpers will help the cuttings establish their roots in no time.
The rooting helpers are widely available in both powder and gel forms. Immerse the bottom of the cuttings where you took the cut quickly in the rooting gel or powder to close the cut.
Some growers use both rooting helpers in both forms and dip the cuttings in the gel first and next on the powder. If you choose to use these products, make sure you read the provided directions carefully to avoid mistakes while doing the cloning process.
Cover the whole part of the cutting that you’ll put on the starter cube using a rooting helper in gel form. Put the cutting in the wet starter cube. Gently press the cube’s bottom to ensure that everything is sealed tightly.
If an automatic cloner, a mini greenhouse, or a humidity dome is available, put the cutting inside. It will help in keeping the moisture trapped all over the cutting. A freshly cut does not have roots yet, so it needs moisture that comes from the air. Though not a requirement, a mini greenhouse or humidity dome can help a lot in growing a clone.
Taking Care of a New Clone
The cutting should stay in wet and warm conditions. If a humidity dome is not available, you can mist the cutting several times each day.
The ideal temperature for the clone is a bit above the room temperature (22 to 25 degrees Celsius.) If you grow a cutting in a colder condition, use a heating mat for maintaining the ideal temperature. Commercial cloners and spreaders have a flexible heat setting and a unified heater.
When it comes to lighting, the cutting will not need light within the first two days. On the 3rd day, use a weak CFL light bulb or a special grow lighting for clones or seeds to help them grow continuously. Keep the lighting on within 18 hours, and the remaining 6 hours should be darkness. You can transplant the cuttings when the roots begin to come out of the starter or Rockwool cubes.